Judy Blume has written 28 novels for the youth/young adult set. For some other authors, that would mean 20+ film adaptations of their work. Not for Blume. She has only allowed two adaptations of books: a 1978 TV movie adapting Forever and a 2012 theatrical release adapting Tiger Eyes (which was directed by her son, Lawrence). That will soon change as she has agreed to have one of her signature novels adapted for the big screen.
Deadline is reporting that Blume has entered into an agreement with James L. Brooks’ Gracie Films to adapt her Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret.
The novel tells the tale of a girl named Margaret Simon and her journey through puberty and her own religious curiosity. The book frequently lands on the list when and where books are banned due to its frank and open discussion of sex and religion, but has overcome that to be recognized as one of the most honest coming-of-age stories in literature.
The film will be written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig. Fremon Craig made her directorial debut with the well-received The Edge of Seventeen, which she also wrote. That bittersweet film about a teenage girl, also produced by Brooks, played apart in separating the rights for Margaret from Blume. Blume saw that film in a theater she owns in Key West, Florida right before Brooks and Craig came to town to talk about adapting the book, and that film encouraged Blume to trust Fremon Craig with the adaptation.
The adaptation will be set in the present day, not a period piece set in 1970 when the book was first published. The novel has been updated several times over the years to keep it current, so the modernization shouldn’t be all that sacrilegious.
No word on when casting or filming will begin, but Fremon Craig has started on the screenplay. We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know more as it becomes available.